First aid for festive fun

Volunteers providing first aid at the Lord Mayors Show

With the office party season now in full swing, volunteers in the capital have been helping to deal with the demand on the London Ambulance Service, by helping to staff ‘drunk tents’.

The ‘drunk tent’ as it has been dubbed by some, aims to treat patients with minor illnesses and injuries, with vehicles from both organisations assigned to deal with alcohol-related emergency calls in the City.

Over 20 St John Ambulance volunteers each weekend have worked closely with London Ambulance Service staff in order to reduce the number of patients visiting accident and emergency departments across the City.

With the office party season bringing the London Ambulance Service hundreds of calls within just a few hours, the ‘drunk tent’, with support from St John Ambulance in London, aims to divert around 75% of casualties away from hospital beds and home safely.

Terry Wing, Assistant Staff Officer at St John Ambulance in London, who has been stationed at Liverpool Street station this month, said: ‘We are proud to be supporting the hard work of the London Ambulance Service and play our part in helping to reduce the demand on hospital staff.

‘This initiative really helps to divert a high volume of alcohol fuelled injuries, which inevitably occur this time each year, away from hospital beds and home safely, leaving them for someone who might really need one.’

This is the third year St John Ambulance in London has provided the London Ambulance Service with support in running the treatment centre at Liverpool Street Station during the height of the office party season.

Up until Christmas Eve, volunteers will also help staff a similar mobile treatment unit in Sidcup’s Queen Mary’s Hospital.